Sunday in the Park with Brian: Therapy Session #12 (The “Audience Participation” Version)


This post isn’t about Harley Crown. Some of you will be quite thrilled to learn that, based on the dwindling stats I’ve seen since I started running that series. But Harley does play into this week’s theme, in a way, and said theme will be rather brief and concise. Lots of folks (at least in America, which may soon be known as Trumpica) are prepping for the upcoming holiday and they don’t have time for blog posts that contain more than three words.

So, we’re going to do a bit of a survey, one in which I hope you participate even though I have already violated the three-word limit. In my fevered imagination, I think I’m providing a variety of interesting, humorous, and somewhat bizarre material, something any writer would want to do. (Well, any writer like me.) But I’m fully aware that what I think I’m doing and what other people think I’m doing are two entirely different things. Therefore, we have the following questions which concern the current and possibly future state of the nation at Bonnywood Manor.

  ONE. The Buffet Line.

What do you like the most about the current content?

A. The “Past Imperfect” series.

B. The “Present Tense” series.

C. The “Sunday in the Park” series.

D. The “Blogger Spotlight” series.

E. The short stories.

F. The nostalgia pieces.

G. The excerpts from “works in progress”.

H. I like everything. Just keep doing what you’re doing.

  TWO. Standing in line at the DMV.

Studies have shown that most blog readers will skip over long blog posts, not willing to commit to the time investment. I have a habit of issuing forth sometimes epic ramblings. Your thoughts?

A. I actually prefer the shorter pieces.

B. I’m good with the longer stories, but not so good with the multi-part stories. They’re too hard to follow and it’s easy to get lost with all the “click here to read this other part” mess, especially when you shove in other unrelated posts in between the parts.

C. The story determines the length. I’ll read whatever it is and click if I need to do so.

  THREE. The quid pro quo factor.

I follow a tremendous number of blogs. This means that I don’t always have the time to get around to everyone’s fresh posts, let alone make an insightful comment. And I even miss some of the comments on my own posts. How does this make you feel?

A. Honestly, I feel a little used when I give you a love tap and then I don’t get a return conjugal visit.

B. Oh, please. We’re all busy. As long as you reach out and touch on a semi-regular basis, it’s all good.

C. I think you have some validation issues, and you need to let them go. I follow you because I like your stories. I don’t need a return back-scratch.

  FOUR. The cross-pollination.

I have multiple blogs, and I (rather often) re-post some of the material from those other blogs here on the Bonnywood site. Your reaction?

A. I follow at least one of your other blogs and it doesn’t bother me at all. I like revisiting some of the things that you have done.

B. I follow at least one of your other blogs and yeah, if you cross-post something that I recognize, I’ll probably just move on without reading it. No offense.

C. You have other blogs?

FIVE. Sharing the love.

I’ve been contemplating, for some time, doing a “post sharing” opportunity like Bernadette does over at Haddon Musings with her “Senior Salon” series. Essentially, this means that once a week (or some type of regular schedule) I would throw out a post where I invite other bloggers to proffer up some of their work. Sometimes there will be a theme, some weeks it will be a la carte. This presents an opportunity for all the folks who visit my site to possibly visit your own. Your willingness to participate?

A. I am not interested at all. Thanks, though.

B. Sounds intriguing, but I need more convincing. Maybe I’ll just watch how the first couple of posts go and then make a decision.

C. I think this sounds pretty swell. No promises, but count me in for now.

And there you have it. If you feel moved to respond, (and I know many of you will only click “like”, if even that much, and subsequently run for the hills), then please indicate your answers in the comment section. Something along the lines of “1-A, 2-B, 3-C”, that sort of thing. I really do value your input, because there’s no point in being a part of a writing community if I don’t, in fact, respect that community.


(P.S. I know that I could have just used one of the WordPress widgets to create a poll with a more professional and scientific cache, but sometimes technology is not all that, and I’d much prefer that folks communicate using words instead of clicking on buttons.)


47 replies »

    • Great idea! Based on what I’m seeing so far with the comments and answers, there are several eye-opening things that surprised me. I’m hoping this will help me fine-tune a bit, and I’ll post a summary in a future “Sunday in the Park”…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Hmm.
    1 – probably H because you should write whatever you enjoy writing. But I look forward to getting a good laugh most of all.
    2 – B and A, but again write what you enjoy, my friend. I too follow lots of blogs and sometimes I just can’t tune in for the longer posts.
    3 – B
    4 – C
    5 – C. I contribute about once a month on Bernadette’s site. Like reading longer posts, it comes down to available time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I often feel guilty about having to skip some of the longer posts on blogs that I follow, but sometimes it can’t be helped. (I say this knowing full well that I’m responsible for some 10-page posts out there.) And I also have not been a steady participant in Bernadette’s Salon Series. There have been many late Wednesday nights when I realize that, dang it, I forgot all about it once again….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 1) C, with A a close second
    2) C
    3) C, though I worry if there’s a REALLY long absence, and I invent stories where you might be dangling off a cliff somewhere, crying out for help.
    4) B
    5) B
    And I second Bernadette’s request for a follow-up post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, thanks Christ Cathi! It’s really swell that you might be concerned about my cliff-dangling. But, to be honest, I was most focused on your answer to #4. I realize that I over-analyze things, but I’ve noticed that you (and many others) who follow both Crusty and Bonnywood are not so invested when you see an encore performance. And I totally get that, really do. So now I just need to figure out if I should keep the side blogs or just focus on one blog. The side blogs were created because some people only want to see the Past Imperfects (Crusty) or the music video reviews (Backup Dancers). And sometimes Crusty trumps (that word has an alternate meaning for me now) Bonnywood when it comes to audience participation. So what’s an unfocused boy to do? I’ll have to sleep on it… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • If you want the dirty truth, if I find 25 blog posts in my email and see one of yours is something I’ve read before, I’m actually grateful. Get what I mean? So yeah, don’t sweat it.
        But having said that, I’m not sure how you keep up with two blogs and post as you do. I was doing twice a week but it got to be a bit of a chore and I wasn’t always pleased with my writing. So now I’m at once a week, with a second post optional depending on how I feel. It might have a negative impact on my traffic, but oh well. Right now it’s working for me.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, JC. I was happy to see your response to #5, as you have a unique, thoughtful angle with your posts and that ingredient would be a welcome addition to the potentially-bubbling Bonnywood Brew… 😉


  3. 1=h,
    3=c (but I enjoy B too),
    4=c (I kinda know you do, but I follow Bonnywood, and I’m basically lazy, so unless it is in my feed it doesn’t get looked at),
    5=c (but I’m not a writer – so probably not what you’re looking to share).

    Loved the wording, so much better than a widget poll.

    Just keep being Brian (or Josephine, or Byron, or whoever the hell you want to be) and do what you want to do – life is too short to be worrying about everybody else. (of course, this statement does not take into account our anxiety about what everybody else does actually think about us!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Claudette. You hit the nail on the head with your last sentence. I’d like to be that person who doesn’t care what people think. But I do, and most of us do, even if it’s not really a healthy perspective to have. In addition to that, I don’t want to throw things out there that nobody appreciates. I jumped into the blogging world, all those many eons ago, in order to commune with others. If I don’t care about what they think, then why am I blogging? I should just write my stories and shove them in a drawer and be done with it? No. So I did this survey, and hopefully it will help me grow. P.S. As for you not being a writer? I beg to differ. You are. Embrace it. And share… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. One
    C. Sunday in the Park, G. Excerpts from works in progress, H. I like everything
    C. I’ll read whatever and click if I need to
    B. Oh, please. We’re all busy. Reach out and touch on a semi-regular basis 🙂
    ….I don’t know
    B. Sounds intriguing! C. Count me in!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My answers:

    1. H
    2. C
    3. B
    4. A
    5. C

    I’ll also add the candid observation that my writings must fall short of what others like, since the posts that I’ve done over six years have gotten little to no input…so that’s my valid excuse for never participating in “post-sharing.”


    Liked by 2 people

    • You never know how a post is going to go. I’ll struggle and sweat for days over one post, trying to get it just right and thinking I might have accomplished something, and then the post is met with dead silence. Other times, I can slap something silly together in five minutes and the stats explode. Go figure… 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  6. H,C,C,C,C – Other blogs are often a good bet if you have something else that interests you, or a place where you can go all potty mouth about “stuff” or be politically incorrect or just throw things out. A “Home” blog is good for that sort of old-school condiment carousel. Drippy syrup, small packs of artificial fruit-like substances, “butter,” salt, pepper, SweetnLow…a place for a little bit of everything that falls out of your brain. Don’t run an episodic serialized romance novel you want to sell the any of the now fifty used to be hot sit com babes from the Eighties on the Hallmark Channel because, well….Just don’t. Not here. Elsewhere? Go for it. If you get around to reading anything on my blog, that’s fine. Everyone has a life and the “increase follow count at all costs, return to me my darling” etiquette is stale. At best. If any of us need friends, we should go to facebook. Or as my Okie dad used to say, “Lonely? Get a dog.” He should have said “and a shovel.”

    As well, every major advertising agency out there who can get their nose out of each other’s behinds long enough is publishing this sort of data.


    Write the good stuff. Start a new site for the USA Today and the Tweet format. Oh? That’s been done? Where have I been?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for participating, Phil. Yep, I use my blogs as you essentially describe. Bonnywood is the home base, where you see bits of everything. Right now I only have two side blogs, Crusty Pie (vintage surrealism and whimsy) and Backup Dancers (snarky music video reviews, which you may or may not appreciate). But at one point in time, because I was clearly insane, I had 10 blogs running at one time, ranging from mundane (book reviews) to posing as a twisted psychologist dispensing inane wisdom based on questions submitted by real readers. I get off on trying new writing projects, knowing that most will fail, but also knowing that it’s only when things break that you can take the best pieces and build something better…

      Liked by 1 person

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